ISLAMABAD   -  The incumbent government has planned to complete the privatisation of two newly-established RLNG-based power plants with production capacity of more than 2,400 megawatts in next fiscal year.

The federal government is expecting to receive $2 billion through the privatisation of the 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant. “The government had already initiated the process of privatization of two power plants, which will be completed in next fiscal year,” said an official of the Privatization Commission.

He further said that government may also privatize some other public sector entities including SME bank, First Women Bank and others in the upcoming fiscal year, starting from July 2019.

The government had already estimated to generate Rs150-billion through privatization in the budget during next fiscal year. 

“The amount from privatization could increase than the budgeted amount,” the official added.  The Council of Common Interests (CCI) in November last year had approved the proposed privatisation of two newly-established RLNG-based power plants with production capacity of more than 2,400 megawatts. Presently, the state-run National Power Parks Management Company Ltd (NPPMCL) owns and operates the plants. The incumbent government after coming into power had decided to start the privatization of public sector entities (PSEs), which had halted since 2015.

The federal government had decided to privatise 49 organisations within its next five years constitutional tenure.

In the first phase in next one and a half years, the government would give seven public entities in private hands that include SME bank Limited, First Women Bank Limited, 1,223 MW Balloki Power Plant, 1,230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant, Mari Petroleum Limited (divestment of remaining shares), Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad, Lakhra Coal Mines (now Lakhra Coal Development Company) and Services International Hotel, Lahore. It is worth mentioning here that there was no privatization since 2015 when PML-N government had divested its shares of National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC).

The previous PML-N government had privatized five PSEs during its tenure from 2013 to 2018. The five transactions included of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), United Bank Limited (UBL), Allied Bank Limited (ABL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and National Power Construction Company (NPCC). The government had generated $1.7 billion through privatisation of these five PSEs.

The government had divested 19.6 percent shares of the UBL in 2014, which generated Rs38.22 billion. Similarly, the government had divested the 70 million shares of PPL, and 131 million shares of ABL; it earned around Rs30 billion in the same year.  Furthermore, the government had divested 610 million shares of HBL in 2015 that generated Rs102.4 billion for the national kitty. Meanwhile, the government had generated Rs2.5 billion by selling the shares of NPCC. Since then, no privatization had been completed.